Triggering Reflection for NQTs: A promising tool?. Maureen Killeavy, Anne Moloney & Marie Clarke University College Dublin. Challenges of their new roles. Preparing multiple classes, managing classroom environments and adapting to changing school contexts (Totterdell et al, 2004,
Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.
Maureen Killeavy, Anne Moloney &
University College Dublin
Preparing multiple classes, managing classroom environments and adapting to changing school contexts (Totterdell et al, 2004,
Killeavy & Murphy, 2006, Cameron, 2007).
Their work is a complex field comprising and demanding
skills & abilities in a number of interrelated areas,
personal, peer and professional (Richardson & Placier, 2001).
Beginning teachers encountering ‘practice shock’and may question their professional motivations. (Kelchtermans & Ballet, 2002)
Beginning teachers very concerned with relationships with colleagues (Vonk, 1983: Killeavy, 2006)
No more important phase for the development and professionalisation of teachers (Hargreaves, 1994)
Teachers’ initial qualifications and induction experiences can have a major positive effect on student learning and achievement. (Darling Hammond)
Induction phase –‘a period of concentrated professional learning both in terms of pedagogical skills and in terms of professional identity development’ (Ketchermans, 2004: 24)
Research indicates that effective practice is linked to inquiry, reflection, and continuous professional growth.
By gaining a better understanding of their own teaching styles through reflective practice, teachers improve their effectiveness .
Reflective practice is a critical process in refining one's artistry or craft in a specific discipline. Schon (1989)
Challenges to teacher reflection include the reluctance of teachers to disturb their own personal identity & the perception of the teaching as a technocratic performance
(Ball & Cohen, 1999).
The National Induction Programme - post primary Teachers
No formal induction provision till 2002 - some initiatives in schools – usually small scale
Major official and research documents in the 1990s stresses the need for inductionSimilarly documents from EU and OECD
Teaching Council Act (2001)
Teacher as lifelong learner; spirit of collegiality
The National Induction programme
National Induction Project on Teacher Induction for post primary teachers established in 2002
Two strands - Primary and post primary
Seminar workshop programme for NQTs
Parallel programme for mentors
Mentoring support for NQTs in school
Needs analysis - NQTS and School Principals
Action research developmental approach
Partnership process involving the major stakeholders in Irish Education
TES Dept of Ed & Science, Colleges and Universities, Teacher Unions, Schools, Education Centres
Grew from small beginnings to a national programme
This study aims to provide insights into the challenges experienced by NQTS concerning reflection as they come to terms with their roles. It focuses on:
Reflection within beginning teachers’ peer groups;
2. The role of reflection in the formation of values and attitudinal dispositions; NQTs ’ experience;
3. Challenges to reflection and how it may be triggered
Participants 60 NQTs in 5 areas
Data derived from
questionnaires - textual analysis
focus group discussions
indepth interviews with loosely-focused ques,ions
using a triangulated approach
Standard research procedures
re piloting, ethical considerations etc of records
(FoI, Data Protection)
Schools widely dispersed geographically
Often only one NQT in a particular school
Trusting relationship with mentors not yet extablished
NQTs isolated socially
Previous experience of using this method for reflection
Private social network site
’Positive Affirmation & Negative Reinforcement
The initial reaction
The contribution of the experience to their professional values and beliefs
‘What makes real reflection difficult is the realization of the powerful effects teacher behavior and of classroom interaction’.
‘I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for Mr X’ …It’s scary when you think of it’
To this day I won’t serve that so and so in our own shop
‘You have to be prepared o admit that you’re in the wrong and that can be hard’
‘If you don’t ap[pear to be on top of the job you won’t have one next year’
‘NQTs often intimidated - not necessarily intentional but you must deal with it somehow’
‘Negotiating the political-cultural aspect of school was a problem for me they were not all supportive’
‘Staff room described as ‘a minefield’ not easy to find a helpful ear’
‘I believed the bit about a conspiracy to make this period a testing time...’I felt there was a bit of it going on’.
A full work load is exhausting, particularly emotionally ...you don’t want to use up your emotional energy opn that’
‘Establishing a social context in a new environment takes tome, of you are tired and fed up loneliness in the new situation needs to be fought.
‘Teachers’ professional development is generated through the interplay between their work and their life experience and the knowledge developed in this way is tacit and personal’ (Connelly & Clandinin, 1985).
Tacit nature of teacher professional knowledge is problematic (Schon, 1983, 1987)
‘...practice is morethan practical, that inquiry is more than an artful rendering of teachers’ practical knowledge ... ‘ (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999, p. 37)
Reluctance must be interpreted with care
Indicative of importance of reflection rather than the opposite
In discussing remembered experience of their education no reference was made to their Teacher Education
Reflection of school experience affects professional values fundamentally and positively
It cannot be assumed that similar experiences affect all students positively
More questions than answers
Levels of knowing – levels of sharing even with oneself